Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 6. Titling and Registration of Motor Vehicles
5/16/2021

Article 3. Registration of Vehicles.

§ 46.2-645. Registration of vehicles.

The Department shall file each motor vehicle registration application received and, when satisfied that the applicant is entitled to register the vehicle, shall register the vehicle.

Code 1950, § 46-52; 1952, c. 536; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-54; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-646. (Effective until March 1, 2021) Expiration and renewal of registration.

A. Every registration under this title, unless otherwise provided, shall expire on the last day of the twelfth month next succeeding the date of registration. Every registration, unless otherwise provided, shall be renewed annually on application by the owner and by payment of the fees required by law, the renewal to take effect on the first day of the month succeeding the date of expiration. Notwithstanding these limitations, the Commissioner may extend the validity period of an expiring registration if (i) the Department is unable to process an application for renewal due to circumstances beyond its control, and (ii) the extension has been authorized under a directive from the Governor. However, in no event shall the validity period be extended more than 90 days per occurrence of such conditions.

B. All motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers registered in the Commonwealth shall, at the discretion of the Commissioner, be placed in a system of registration on a monthly basis to distribute the work of registering motor vehicles as uniformly as practicable throughout the 12 months of the year. All such motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers, unless otherwise provided, shall be registered for a period of 12 months. The registration shall be extended, at the discretion of the Commissioner, on receipt of appropriate prorated fees, as required by law, for a period of not less than one month nor more than 11 months as is necessary to distribute the registrations as equally as practicable on a monthly basis. The Commissioner shall, on request, assign to any owner or owners of two or more motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers the same registration period. The expiration date shall be the last day of the twelfth month or the last day of the designated month. Except for motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers registered for more than one year under subsection C of this section, every registration shall be renewed annually on application by the owner and by payment of fees required by law, the renewal to take effect on the first day of the succeeding month.

C. The Commissioner may offer, at his discretion, an optional multi-year registration for all motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers except for (i) those registered under the International Registration Plan and (ii) those registered as uninsured motor vehicles. When this option is offered and chosen by the registrant, all annual and 12-month fees due at the time of registration shall be multiplied by the number of years or fraction thereof that the vehicle will be registered.

D. For any summons issued for a violation of this section, the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the summons where proof of compliance with this section is provided to the court on or before the court date.

Code 1950, § 46-62; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-63; 1972, c. 609; 1974, c. 170; 1988, cc. 701, 704; 1989, c. 727; 2013, c. 337; 2019, cc. 14, 57.

§ 46.2-646. (Effective March 1, 2021) Expiration and renewal of registration.

A. Every registration under this title, unless otherwise provided, shall expire on the last day of the twelfth month next succeeding the date of registration. Every registration, unless otherwise provided, shall be renewed annually on application by the owner and by payment of the fees required by law, the renewal to take effect on the first day of the month succeeding the date of expiration. Notwithstanding these limitations, the Commissioner may extend the validity period of an expiring registration if (i) the Department is unable to process an application for renewal due to circumstances beyond its control, and (ii) the extension has been authorized under a directive from the Governor. However, in no event shall the validity period be extended more than 90 days per occurrence of such conditions.

B. All motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers registered in the Commonwealth shall, at the discretion of the Commissioner, be placed in a system of registration on a monthly basis to distribute the work of registering motor vehicles as uniformly as practicable throughout the 12 months of the year. All such motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers, unless otherwise provided, shall be registered for a period of 12 months. The registration shall be extended, at the discretion of the Commissioner, on receipt of appropriate prorated fees, as required by law, for a period of not less than one month nor more than 11 months as is necessary to distribute the registrations as equally as practicable on a monthly basis. The Commissioner shall, on request, assign to any owner or owners of two or more motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers the same registration period. The expiration date shall be the last day of the twelfth month or the last day of the designated month. Except for motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers registered for more than one year under subsection C of this section, every registration shall be renewed annually on application by the owner and by payment of fees required by law, the renewal to take effect on the first day of the succeeding month.

C. The Commissioner may offer, at his discretion, an optional multi-year registration for all motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers except for (i) those registered under the International Registration Plan and (ii) those registered as uninsured motor vehicles. When this option is offered and chosen by the registrant, all annual and 12-month fees due at the time of registration shall be multiplied by the number of years or fraction thereof that the vehicle will be registered.

D. For any summons issued for a violation of this section, the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the summons where proof of compliance with this section is provided to the court on or before the court date.

E. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle due to an expired registration sticker prior to the first day of the fourth month after the original expiration date. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

Code 1950, § 46-62; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-63; 1972, c. 609; 1974, c. 170; 1988, cc. 701, 704; 1989, c. 727; 2013, c. 337; 2019, cc. 14, 57; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-646.1. Deactivation and reactivation of registration; fees.

A. The owner of a motor vehicle that has been registered in the Commonwealth may apply to the Commissioner to deactivate the registration of such vehicle. The owner of a motor vehicle who has voluntarily deactivated the vehicle's registration pursuant to this section shall not be required, with respect to such vehicle, to carry bodily injury liability insurance or property damage insurance, or to pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee as provided under § 46.2-706.

It shall be unlawful to operate any motor vehicle whose registration has been deactivated on any highway in the Commonwealth.

B. Any person having a motor vehicle for which registration has been deactivated under subsection A may apply to the Commissioner to reactivate the registration of such vehicle. Every applicant for reactivation of registration shall furnish the Commissioner with such evidence as is required under § 46.2-649 and shall either (i) execute and furnish to the Commissioner his certificate that the motor vehicle for which registration is to be reactivated is an insured motor vehicle as defined in § 46.2-705, or that the Commissioner has issued to its owner, in accordance with § 46.2-368, a certificate of self-insurance applicable to the vehicle or (ii) pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee required by § 46.2-706, which shall be disposed of as provided by § 46.2-710. The fee to be paid to the Department for the reactivation of a motor vehicle's registration shall be $10 unless the vehicle's registration has expired or the vehicle is registered under the International Registration Plan.

2013, cc. 673, 789.

§ 46.2-646.2. Registration extension for satisfaction of certain requirements.

A. Upon request by an applicant, the Commissioner may grant a one-month extension of the registration period of a vehicle if the vehicle registration has been withheld pursuant to § 33.2-503, 46.2-752, 46.2-819.1, 46.2-819.3, 46.2-819.3:1, or 46.2-1183 and the current registration period will expire within the calendar month. No extension may be granted for an expired vehicle registration, and only one extension may be granted for any one vehicle registration period.

B. For each extension granted, the Commissioner shall collect (i) a $10 administrative fee and (ii) a fee sufficient for a one-month registration period for the vehicle, as calculated under subsection B of § 46.2-694. On receipt of such fees, the Commissioner shall issue a registration card and, if applicable, decals indicating the month of expiration of the vehicle registration. Upon satisfying the requirements for which the vehicle registration has been withheld, the applicant may elect to renew the vehicle registration. For such renewal, the Commissioner shall collect the appropriate registration renewal fee and issue a registration card and, if applicable, decals. The renewal shall take effect on the first day succeeding the month in which the registration extension expires. When offered by the Commissioner, the applicant may elect to renew the vehicle registration for multiple years, pursuant to § 46.2-646.

C. All administrative fees imposed and collected by the Commissioner under this section shall be paid into the state treasury and set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department.

2018, cc. 286, 288.

§ 46.2-647. Grace period for replacement of license plates or decals and renewal of registrations.

The Commissioner may, on finding either that the Department is unable to efficiently handle the replacement of license plates or decals or the renewal of registrations scheduled to expire during a specific month, or that persons seeking to secure license plates, decals, or registration renewals are, as a group, unable to do so without being substantially inconvenienced, declare a grace period for the replacement of license plates or decals and the renewal of registrations. The declaration of a grace period shall have the effect of postponing the expiration of those license plates, decals, and registrations scheduled to expire on the last day of that month to the fifteenth day of the succeeding month.

1975, c. 17, § 46.1-63.1; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-648. Registration of logging vehicles.

On receipt of an application on a form prescribed by him, the Commissioner shall register in a separate category trucks, tractor trucks, trailers, and semitrailers used exclusively in connection with logging operations. For the purposes of this section, the term "logging" shall mean the harvesting of timber and transportation from forested sites to places of sale.

Fees for the registration of vehicles under this section shall be the same as those ordinarily charged for the type of vehicle being registered.

1985, c. 185, § 46.1-105.12; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-648.1. Optional registration of tow dolly and converter gear.

The Department may, upon request, register any tow dolly or converter gear as defined in § 46.2-1119. For the purpose of determining the applicable fee for any such registration, the tow dolly or converter gear shall be considered a trailer and the registration fee determined in accordance with § 46.2-694.1. The fee for reserved numbers or letters on license plates for any tow dolly or converter gear shall be determined in accordance with § 46.2-726.

1999, c. 593.

§ 46.2-649. Certain vehicles required to show evidence of payment of taxes and of registration or exemption from registration with Department of Motor Vehicles.

A. Before the Commissioner registers or reregisters any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer under § 46.2-697, 46.2-698, 46.2-700, or 46.2-703, the applicant shall furnish evidence satisfactory to the Commissioner that all state, local, and federal taxes levied on that motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer have been paid and that the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer either (i) is registered with the Department as required by law, or (ii) is not required so to register.

B. The Commissioner, in consultation with local commissioners of the revenue and directors of finance, and with appropriate federal officials, shall provide for the kinds of evidence required to satisfy the provisions of subsection A.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) pickup trucks, (ii) panel trucks, or (iii) trucks having a registered gross weight less than 33,000 pounds.

D. The State Corporation Commission may notify the Department that a motor carrier (i) has not filed an annual report as required by § 58.1-2654 or (ii) has not paid taxes due as required by the State Corporation Commission. Upon receiving the notice, the Department shall not register or reregister motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers owned by the motor carrier until such requirements have been met.

1983, c. 515, § 46.1-153.1; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 283; 2002, c. 47; 2013, c. 226.

§ 46.2-649.1. Registration of tow trucks; fees.

A. No tow truck registered under this section shall be subject to registration under the international registration plan or subject to any other state registration requirements under this chapter. Registration under this section shall not prohibit the use of "rollbacks" to transport storage sheds, similar structures, or other cargoes.

B. Vehicles registered under this section shall be subject to the following annual fees, based upon their manufacturer's gross vehicle weight ratings:

a

less than 15,000 pounds

$100

b

15,000 to 22,999 pounds

$200

c

23,000 to 29,499 pounds

$300

d

more than 29,499 pounds

$400

C. No vehicle shall be registered under this section unless there is in force as to such vehicle at the time of its registration commercial liability insurance coverage for those classes of insurance defined in §§ 38.2-117 and 38.2-118 in the amount of at least $750,000.

1993, c. 120; 2006, cc. 874, 891.

§ 46.2-649.1:1. Registration of vehicles owned and used by volunteer fire departments or volunteer, commercial, or private emergency medical services agencies.

Upon application therefor, the Commissioner shall register and issue permanent license plates without year or month decals for display on any (i) firefighting truck, trailer, and semitrailer on which firefighting apparatus is permanently attached when any such vehicle is owned or under exclusive control of a volunteer fire department; (ii) emergency medical services vehicle or other vehicle owned or used exclusively by a volunteer fire department or volunteer emergency medical services agency if any such vehicle is used exclusively as an emergency medical services vehicle and is not rented, leased, or lent to any private individual, firm, or corporation, and no charge is made by the organization for the use of the vehicle; or (iii) emergency medical services vehicle owned or under exclusive control of a commercial or privately owned emergency medical services agency, as defined in § 32.1-111.1, if any such vehicle is not rented, leased, or lent to any private individual, firm, or corporation that is not another emergency medical services agency. The equipment shall be painted a distinguishing color and conspicuously display in letters and figures not less than three inches in height the identity of the emergency medical services agency, volunteer fire department, or volunteer emergency medical services agency having control of its operation.

No fee shall be charged for any vehicle registration or license plate issuance under clause (i) or (ii). The fees charged for vehicle registration under clause (iii) shall be as provided in § 46.2-694.

1999, c. 329; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2016, cc. 125, 133.

§ 46.2-649.2. Certain vehicles to comply with clean alternative fuel fleet standards prior to registration; penalty.

The Commissioner shall not register a motor vehicle subject to § 46.2-1179.1 which does not comply with the requirements of that section. Upon a determination that a motor vehicle is exempt from the requirements of § 46.2-1179.1, it shall forever be exempt, and the exemption shall be noted on its title. Whoever, through fraud or misrepresentation, procures or attempts to procure the registration of a motor vehicle in violation of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1993, cc. 234, 571.

§ 46.2-649.3. Registration of covered farm vehicles.

A. For the purposes of this section, a covered farm vehicle shall be registered pursuant to the provisions of § 46.2-698.

B. As defined in regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (49 C.F.R. Part 390.5), a "covered farm vehicle" means a straight truck or articulated vehicle that is:

1. a. Registered in Virginia pursuant to the provisions of § 46.2-698; or

b. Registered in another state with a license plate or other designation issued by the state of registration that allows law enforcement to identify it as a farm vehicle;

2. Operated by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch or by an employee or family member of an owner or operator of a farm or ranch;

3. Used to transport agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery, or supplies to or from a farm or ranch;

4. Not used in for-hire motor carrier operations; however, for-hire motor carrier operations do not include the operation of a vehicle meeting the requirements of subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 by a tenant pursuant to a crop share farm lease agreement to transport the landlord's portion of the crops under that agreement; and

5. Not used in transporting material found by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. § 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 C.F.R., subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C.

C. A straight truck or articulated vehicle meeting the requirements of subsection B and having (i) a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating, whichever is greater, of 26,001 pounds or less may utilize the exemptions provided in § 46.2-649.4 without mileage limitations or (ii) a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating, whichever is greater, of more than 26,001 pounds may utilize the exemptions defined in § 46.2-649.4 anywhere in the Commonwealth or across state lines within 150 air miles (176.2 miles) of the farm or ranch with respect to which the vehicle is being operated.

D. For the purposes of this section, "agricultural commodities" means any horticultural plants and crops, cultivated plants and crops, poultry, dairy, and farm products, livestock and livestock products, and products derived from bees and beekeeping, primarily for sale, consumption, propagation, or other use by man or animals.

2015, c. 258.

§ 46.2-649.4. Covered farm vehicles; exemptions.

A covered farm vehicle as defined in § 46.2-649.3, including the operator of that vehicle, is exempt from the following:

1. Any requirement relating to commercial driver's licenses in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 49 C.F.R. Part 383;

2. Any requirement relating to controlled substances and alcohol use and testing in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 49 C.F.R. Part 382;

3. Any requirement in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 49 C.F.R. Part 391, Subpart E, Physical Qualifications and Examinations;

4. Any requirement in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 49 C.F.R. Part 395, Hours of Service of Drivers; and

5. Any requirement in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 49 C.F.R. Part 396, Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance.

2015, c. 258.